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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Greek

Undergraduate Course: Greek Prose Texts: Historiography, Oratory and/or Philosophy 2 (GREE10031)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course gives students the opportunity to read in detail in the original a sample of the rich surviving range of ancient Greek texts in prose. The focus will be on texts of interest for studying the political, social and cultural history of ancient Greece, but the texts will also be studied from a literary and linguistic perspective. Texts to be studied in any particular year will be drawn from, for example, historians such as Thucydides, Xenophon or Polybius; orators such as Lysias and Demosthenes; and philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle.
Course description This course enables students to study in detail in the original samples of the rich range of ancient Greek works of historiography, rhetoric and/or philosophy. Texts will be selected which give students the opportunity to study and debate ancient Greek history, politics, society and ethics, including themes such as nature, culture, law, democracy and virtue. The texts will normally be studied primarily from a historical point of view, though philosophical concerns will become more prominent when the course concentrates on Plato and/or Aristotle. All texts will also be studied from a literary, textual and linguistic perspective. The first iteration of this course will focus on the fourth-century BC orator Demosthenes, the author of an exceptionally rich and influential collection of speeches. In this version of the course, students will study samples of Demosthenes' speeches from legal cases in which questions of citizenship, status, honour and equality were central. This will give students the chance to engage in detail with ancient Greek methods of persuasion and rhetorical style. It will also enable students to study the dynamics and rhetoric of the democratic Athenian law-courts, and their place within wider Athenian politics and society. In future versions of this course, the focus will be on other Greek orators, such as Lysias or Aeschines, or on works of historiography or philosophy, by authors such as Xenophon, Polybius or Plato.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesAdvanced-level ability in Greek language and literature, equivalent to two years' study at the University of Edinburgh (if uncertain, consult the course organiser).
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate, in class discussion, coursework and examination as required, that they can confidently translate and interpret ancient Greek prose texts;
  2. demonstrate, in class discussion, coursework and examination as required, a sound understanding of the social, literary and cultural role of different prose genres in the ancient Greek world, including historiography, oratory and/or philosophy;
  3. demonstrate, in class discussion, coursework and examination as required, that they understand how the close study of ancient Greek prose texts can illuminate ancient Greek political, social, cultural and intellectual history;
  4. demonstrate, in class discussion, coursework and examination as required, that they understand how to find and use modern scholarship and commentaries to enrich the close study of ancient Greek prose texts, and their historical context and importance;
  5. demonstrate, in class discussion, coursework and examination as required, that they can discuss and debate issues in ancient Greek history and culture, drawing on the evidence of the language and content of significant ancient Greek prose texts.
Reading List
The core bibliography for this course will vary from year to year, depending on the author(s) chosen as its focus. A new bibliography will be submitted for display in Euclid on each occasion. The following list is the indicative bibliography for the first iteration of this course, concentrating on the Attic orators.

Demosthenes. 20022009. Demosthenis orationes. Edited by Mervin R. Dilts. Vols. 14. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press 20022009.
Aeschines. 1998. Aeschinis orationes. Edited by Mervin R. Dilts. Berlin.

D. M. MacDowell, Demosthenes' Against Meidias, Oxford 1990.
D. M. MacDowell, Demosthenes' On the False Embassy, Oxford 2000.
C. Kremmydas, A Commentary on Demosthenes' Against Leptines, Oxford 2012.
Demosthenes. 1985. Selected private speeches. Edited by Christopher Carey and R. A. Reid. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.
N. Fisher, Aeschines' Against Timarchos, Oxford 2001.

Key General Works:
D. M. MacDowell, Demosthenes the Orator, Oxford 2009.
D. M. MacDowell, The Law in Classical Athens, London 1978.
E. M. Harris, Aeschines and Athenian Politics, Oxford 1995.
E. M. Harris, The Rule of Law in Action in Democratic Athens, Oxford 2013.
S. Todd, The shape of Athenian law, Oxford 1995.
M. Canevaro, The Documents in the Attic Orators, Oxford 2013.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements In order for a student from outwith Classics to be enrolled on this course, contact must be made with a Course Secretary on 50 3582 in order for approval to be obtained.
KeywordsGreek Prose Texts,Historiography,Oratory,Philosophy
Course organiserDr Mirko Canevaro
Tel: (0131 6)51 1256
Course secretaryMs Elaine Hutchison
Tel: (0131 6)50 3582
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